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By Gabriel F. Cordero
A possibility exists that WBC interim super welterweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martínez will be officially proclaimed full WBC super welterweight champion. Sources close to Martinez indicate that he has conversed with WBC President José Sulaimán and they expect Martínez to be proclaimed as absolute champion soon. Other sources assure that the executive board of the WBC is meeting to make a decision on the situation of reigning champion Vernon Forest, who has been ordered by the WBC order to face Martínez without an interim fight. Meanwhile a proposed clash between Martínez and Nobuhiro Ishida in Japan fell through, but another possibility is the winner in the May 30 clash between Kermit Cintron and Alfredo Angulo.
Unbeaten Olympian super middleweight Andre Ward (18-0, 12 KOs), who faces his sternest challenge as a professional when he meets ultra-confident Colombian knockout artist Edison Miranda (32-3, 28 KOs) in the main event this Saturday, May 16, on a special primetime edition of ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast) at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. “To me, this fight is totally about respect,’’ the unbeaten, No. 2-ranked Ward said. “It’s about respect from the media, respect from the entire 168-pound division and just respect in general. There’s always something to prove with each fight. The stakes are higher, absolutely.” (more…)
FightNews has confirmed that negotiations for a rematch between light heavyweight contender Clinton Woods and living legend Roy Jones Jr. are ongoing. Word inside the Jones camp is that talks between Dennis Hobson of Fight Academy and John Wirt of Square Ring are focusing on a pay-per-view event (this summer) featuring Woods vs. Jones at the Sheffield Arena in the UK. “Woods wants revenge and Jones wants to prove himself against the best,” said the anonymous source. Woods fought Jones in October 2002, but Woods (then 32-1) had not fought a world-class opponent while Jones (then 46-1) had won the middleweight, super middleweight and several versions of the light heavyweight title since turning pro in May 1989. Since that fateful meeting when the corner of Woods threw in the towel in the sixth round, the careers of both fighters have gone up and down. Woods has fought several champions and contenders, including going 1-1-1 with Glen Johnson, the fighter who knocked out Jones in Sept 2004, plus the Englishman has won and lost the IBF light heavyweight title. Woods is now the #2 IBF contender. Jones has had almost another full career after his encounter with Woods, including beating John Ruiz for the WBA heavyweight title, regaining a version of the light heavyweight title and beating Felix Trinidad last year in one of 2008’s highest grossing pay-per-view events. Jones – although unranked – is regarded as a contender at 175-pounds. Supposedly the deal for the rematch is contingent upon British television buying the fight so that there is enough money to pay Jones, whose name and resume does deserve a high-salary. More to follow!
As most boxing fans know, when Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz wasn’t hitting opponents in the boxing ring, he was hitting the books at the University of Houston – Downtown (UHD). The former Three-Time World Champion will close the college chapter of his life on Sunday, May 17th, when he will receive the academic equivalent of a world championship title as he accepts a bachelor’s degree in Political Science during the University’s commencement ceremonies at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. “This feels like I’m becoming a world champion for the first time, it’s that big of an accomplishment to me,” said Diaz. “After going through school all of the years, it feels like a huge burden has lifted off of my back. I’m going to take the rest of this year and next year to focus on boxing and see where it takes me, but I’m also going to take the LSAT review course and apply to Law School so that I always have that as an option in the future.” In addition to receiving his degree, Diaz was honored last week with an academic achievement award from the social sciences department at UHD for students who demonstrated scholastic excellence as well as a commitment to their field of study.
WBC Superbantamweight Champion Toshiaki Nishioka (33-4-3, 20 KOs) says he will not only defeat challenger Jhonny Gonzalez (40-6, 34 KOs) on May 23 in Monterrey, Mexico, when he defends his title, but he will make the world take notice of Japanese boxing. “I do not have any problem fighting in Mexico,” says Nishioka, who won his championship by TKOing top Mexican contender Genaro Garcia in January. “I am in great shape and will conquer Gonzalez. I am the champion and I am going to impose my law. It has cost me too much to be champion of the world and I am not going to leave the crown in Mexico.” It will be Nishioka’s fourth fight outside Japan; he is 3-0 in three U.S. outings.
Edison Miranda has not been shy about how he feels about Andre Ward, his opponent in Saturday’s colossal super middleweight battle in Ward’s hometown of Oakland, Calif. “I can’t wait to get in the ring and to get into his face because I have no respect for Ward,” said Miranda (32-3, 28 KOs). “No, I wasn’t surprised when he called and wanted to fight me. I’ll fight anybody. I can’t wait for Saturday night to show the world who Edison Miranda is and that I’m going to be the champion.” The 12-round fight at the Oracle Arena for Ward’s NABO and NABF super middleweight titles will be the featured bout on a special Saturday primetime edition of ShoBox: The New Generation, live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). (more…)
TKO Boxing Promotions inaugural show in Houston, Texas, “The Beatdown in H-Town” is proving a hot ticket as the May 28th card at the Arena Theatre is headed towards a sellout over two weeks from the event. Said Chet Koerner, President of TKO BOXING Promotions “Although we live here, this is our first event in Houston and we’re thrilled with the response. Right now we’re over halfway sold on the Arena Theatre show for May 28th.”
UFC® is coming to Philadelphia for the first time on Saturday, August 8th, and its bringing the big guns to the Wachovia Center for UFC 101, as BJ Penn defends his UFC lightweight crown for the second time against number one contender Kenny Florian, and UFC middleweight boss Anderson Silva jumps back to the 205-pound weight class to take on former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin.
Photos: André Boge/Universum Box-Promotion
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On June 6th, European light heavyweight champion Jürgen Brähmer (32-2, 26 KOs) plans to showcase his skills against mandatory challenger Antonio Brancalion (32-6-2, 8 KOs) as he gears up for another world title shot. The bout will be seen by a huge live TV audience on ZDF as well as a packed house in Oberhausen’s König Pilsener Arena. At today’s press conference in Hamburg, Brähmer said “Brancalion is very difficult to box, but I’ll just adjust to him. I just started this week with sparring. I’m glad to be back in the ring so quickly after my fight in March. This rhythm works very well for me, it’s what I need to move ahead.”
The card also features an excellent battle between world rated heavyweight stablemates as WBA #6 Denis Boytsov (24-0, 19 KOs) puts his undefeated record on the line against WBA #2 rated Taras Bidenko (26-2, 12 KOs). Both contenders had interesting comments. (more…)
By Ron Jackson
Two South African titles and a WBA Pan African title will be at stake on the Rob’s Promotions six-bout card at the Boiketlong Hall in Sasolburg on Friday night. In the main event Thabiso Mchunu, 21, defends his South African and WBA Pan African junior heavyweight title against Soon Botes who will celebrate his 37th birthday on June 5. Also, in a clash of champions, Kgotso Motau defends his South African super middleweight title against national middleweight champion Peter Mashamaite, and former WBF and South African junior welterweight champion Sam Malinga returns to action when meets Namibian Jason Naule in an eight rounder. (more…)
Undefeated super bantamweight Teon Kennedy, of North Philadelphia, will box Lucian Gonzalez, of Reading, PA, in the scheduled eight-round co-feature Saturday evening, June 6, at Bally’s Atlantic City. Topping the seven-bout card is a scheduled 10-round contest for the NABA welterweight title between champion Mike Jones, of North Philadelphia, and Larry Mosley, of Los Angeles, CA. (more…)
By Paolo Consiglio
Earlier today, the famed Campidoglio (Rome’s city hall) hosted the final press conference leading up to the much-anticipated clash for the WBC world cruiserweight championship between defending champion Giacobbe Fragomeni (26-1, 10 KOs) and mandatory challenger Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (41-2, 31 KOs), which will take place next Saturday at the Gran Teatro (3,040 seats). The mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, was on hand. Both fighters looked confident and in tip-top shape. “I’m very proud to fight in Rome and have the utmost respect for Fragomeni,” said Wlodarczyk. “But I have come here to win. Hopefully there will be a level playing field.” Fragomeni, who will make the maiden defense of the crown won last October in Milan against Rudolf Kraj, said, “My opponent needs not worry about the judges. This fight will be fair and square. May the better man win.”
The weigh-in will be held on Friday at 5PM at the Claridge Hotel. The card, promoted by Salvatore Cherchi’s OPI2000, will start at 8:10PM with six fights featuring local junior middle Emanuele Della Rosa, middleweight Emanuele Blandamura, cruiserweight Andrea Moretti and super lightweight Vittorio Oi. Mexican flyweight Arian ‘El Confesor’ Hernandez (14-1-1, 11 KOs) will be part of the show facing countryman Abel Ochoa (13-12, 9 KOs) over six rounds. The main event will be aired nationally by Rai Due starting at 11:15PM.
Adding to the anticipation and excitement of the UFC 100 event weekend, UFC® today announced that it will host its first ever grappling tournament in conjunction with the prestigious Grapplers Quest organization on Friday and Saturday, July 10th and 11th, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center as part of the UFC® Fan ExpoTM. (more…)
By Felipe Leon
The “Havoc at the Hard Rock” fight card being held at the beautiful Hard Rock Hotel in downtown San Diego, CA presented by the newest boxing promoter in Southern California, Rogue Boxing on Thursday, May 21st is coming together with the dilligent work of its matchmaker Vince Parra. (more…)
– UFC® To Host First Grappling Tournament With Grapplers Quest
– All-New Episode Of The Ultimate Fighter®: US vs UK Tonight at 10pm ET/PT on SPIKE
– Coach’s Blog – Follow Team UK’s Coach Michael Bisping
– UFC.com – Matt Hughes: Seven Defining Moments
– Pick Your Top 100 of UFC® Ultimate 100 Greatest Fights
– Follow UFC® & Dana White on Twitter
Photos: Ricardo Conde
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On Saturday, a Top Rank card at the Buffalo Bill’s Star Arena in Primm, NV will be co-headlined by prospects “Bam Bam” Brandon Rios (19-0-1, 13 KOs) and Miguel “Mikey” Garcia (15-0 12 KOs) from the La Colonia Gym in Oxnard, CA. Rios is taking on Oscar Meza (18-2, 16 KOs) in a ten round lightweight bout, while Garcia meets Anthony Napunyi (10-2, 5 KOs) in a ten round super featherweight bout. Also on the card will be local super featherweight favorite Diego Magdaleno (9-0, 3 KOs) vs Juan Montiel (2-2-1) and unbeaten Olympian super welterweight Vanes Martirosyan (23-0, 14 KOs) taking on Harrison Cuello (16-9-2, 13 KOs). Doors open at 5:30 pm and the first bout is at 6:00 pm. Tickets are still on sale at www.ticketmaster.com. The bouts will be televised on Azteca America.
By Ron Jackson
South African Fransie Botha makes the first defence of the lesser known WBF heavyweight belt against Timo Hoffmann of Germany at the Bordeland Halle in Magdeberg, Germany on Friday night. The 34-year-old Hoffmann 38-6-1; 22 who has been a pro since October 1993 has been in with some of the best heavyweights. Some of his best results were a draw against Luan Krasniqi and wins over Bob Mirovic, Tom Williamson, Corey Sanders and Michael Sprott. The losses on his record have come against top fighters like Vitali Kilitschko (UD 12), Henry Akinwande (SD 12), Paolo Vidiz (SD 12), Tibor Ibragimov (UD 10), Michael Sprott (first fight) and a twelfth round stoppage loss to the unbeaten Alexander Dimentrenko who is ranked in the top ten by all the major organisations. The 40-year-old Botha 47-4-2; 28 a former IBF champion won the vacant WBF belt in February last year in Potchefstroom when he outpointed Ron Guerrero from the US. Howard Goldberg the WBF representative for Africa reports that Botha has been training extremely hard for this fight and has shed a few kilos along the way and he expects him to extend Hoffmann. However, the taller and younger Hoffmann should have the edge in his home country and is expected to win over the long route. On the undercard in super middleweight contest Robert Stieglitz 34-2; 21 meets Jindrich Velecky 16-5; 15 over ten rounds.
By Gabriel F.Cordero
Three-time world champion in different divisions Jorge “Travieso” Arce has transferred his training camp to La Romanza Gym in the Districto Federal in Mexico. Arce is training under the orders of the recognized Mexican trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain who has trained near 20 world champions. Arce is training for his next fight, possibly in the month of June in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Photos: Jan Sanders/Goossen Tutor Promotions
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2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward (18-0, 12 KOs) and Colombian knockout artist Edison Miranda (32-3, 28 KOs), who collide this Saturday, May 16, in the main event on a special primetime edition of ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast) at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., participated in a free open public workout attended by several hundred fans and media Tuesday at The Plaza in Oakland. The 12-rounder between the unbeaten and No. 2-ranked Ward and the hard-hitting Miranda highlight the biggest fight card in the Bay Area in years. Here’s what the main event fighters had to say Tuesday: (more…)
By Bob Caico
Boxing gave recently retired heavyweight Paul “The Italian Hitman” Marinaccio the opportunity to get the word out about the ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease). Many times Marinaccio donated his purse from his matches to the cause that took the life of his good friend. Now the Buffalo, NY native and Cary, North Carolina resident wants to give back to boxing by starting his own promotional company: Jawbreaker Promotions. (more…)
World rated light heavyweight Joey “KO Kid” Spina has had an overall attitude adjustment but he still possess the same devastating power punching ability as always as he gets set to headline the May 22nd “Rage At The River” show at Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, Rhode Island. Spina (24-1-1, 17 KOs), 31, is rated among the top 15 in all four major boxing organizations – No. 12 by the WBC and WBA, No. 13 by the WBO, and No. 15 by the IBF. The rugged Italian-American from Providence, former IBF Inter-Continental and USNBC super middleweight champion, has won four straight since suffering his only pro loss in 2006 to cross-town rival, Peter Manfredo, Jr., in which, Spina suffered a broken left thumb in the early goings. Joey, admittedly, hasn’t been fully focused since then but he has a refreshing new look on life and boxing, which has resulted in a born-again dedication aimed at fully preparing him for a world title shot in the not too distant future. (more…)
Undefeated bantamweight Yonnhy “El Colombiano” Perez finished 10 weeks of preparation for his IBF Eliminator against Silence Mabuza. Perez will make the long trip across the globe to face the South African in his hometown of Johannesburg on Friday, May 29. “The only thing on my mind is victory,” said Perez after his workout. “I know I’m going to his backyard and I have to be aggressive, I need to be able to win the crowd, the judges and beat Mabuza, all at the same time.” Perez leaves Los Angeles Wednesday afternoon and arrives in Johannesburg, via Dubai, on Friday morning. (more…)
Ringside Report by Damien St. Pierre
Photography by Scott Foster
Light heavyweight Alfonso Lopez (14-0, 11 KOs) scored a decision over veteran Ron “The Corba” Weaver (29-18-2, 22 KOs) this past Friday at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, Louisiana. The Lopez vs. Weaver contest was the headliner of “Brawlin In Nalwins!” which was presented by Les Bonano and The Fight Guys. Click here to read the full report and view the action-packed photogallery!
Fast-tracking light heavyweight Beibut Shumenov (8-0, 6 KOs), fresh off of his impressive fourth-round stoppage of former two-time world champion Byron Mitchell last Saturday night in Kazakhstan, has set his sights on a major world title fight against WBO champion Zsolt Erdei or WBA title-holder Hugo Garay. A 2004 Olympian, Shumenov is rated #8 by the WBA, #9 by the WBO and #16 by the WBC and in his last three fights has defeated two former world champions, Mitchell and Montell Griffin, in addition to world title challenger Epifanio Mendoza. “It was great fighting at home and I want to thank Byron Mitchell for replacing (Alejandro) Berrio on such late notice,” an ambitious Beibut said. “He still has the heart of a champion and it showed in the ring. I grateful for winning the IBA World title and now I’m ready for more challenges. I really want to fight Erdei or Garay and I’m hopeful that one of them steps-up to give me an opportunity to fight for their world title crown.”
35-year-old former two-time world champion Byron “Gator” Mitchell (27-5-1, 20 KOs) says his comeback won’t be derailed by one setback. Mitchell took a short-notice chance at a quick bump in the world ratings and paid for it over the weekend by suffering his fifth career loss to undefeated Kazakhstan native Beibut Shumenov at the Stadium Khadjimukan in Chimkent, Kazakhstan, via TKO 4. “We weren’t really in the gym, but we got the call and decided to give it a shot,” explained the disappointed Mitchell, who took the Shumenov matchup on 48 hours notice, flew 27 hours and landed on the day of the fight at 9 am. Mitchell was then forced to drop some weight pre-fight. “I take nothing away from this kid Shumenov, he fought well. But that wasn’t the real Gator in there. I’d like to face him again under more even circumstances.”
Telemundo has an interesting fight schedule in the coming months. On June 12, former world champion Diobelis Hurtado faces TBA in a twelve-rounder for the WBO Latin welterweight title. That bout takes place at Miccosukee Resort and Gaming in Miami, Florida. On June 26, it’s Jesus “Destroyer” Jimenez vs. Santiago Ivan Acosta in a twelve-rounder for the WBC Latin flyweight title at the Humberto “Chiquita” Gonzalez Marbet Plus in Ciudad Neza, Mexico City. Then on July 17 it’s the popular Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. returning against TBA with the WBO Latin and WBA FEDECENTRO jr. featherweight titles on the line at the Kissimmee Civic Center in Kissimmee, Florida.
By Joe Koizumi
Newly crowned WBC featherweight champ Takahiro Aoh (17-1-1, 8 KOs), a 25-year-old Japanese southpaw, will risk his belt against official challenger Elio Rojas (20-1, 13 KOs), Dominican Republic, in his first defense in Tokyo, Japan, on July 14. Aoh, formerly six-time national high school champ, impressively captured the throne via lopsided decision over veteran Mexican warrior Oscar Larios in a grudge fight this March. Rojas, a vastly talented prospect, 26, once dropped a highly debatable split decision to Mexican Gamaliel Diaz in an eliminator in July 2007, but scored a nearly shutout decision over top contender Hector Velazquez in Biloxi, Mississippi, last September. Aoh said before many people at the press conference, “I welcome this opportunity to defend my belt against the strong challenger. I’ll fight as if I were a challenger.” It will be a highly competitive encounter of the young and fresh speedsters to be staged by Akihiko Honda’s Teiken Promotions.
On a split-site telecast by Nippon TV, a world title twinbill will take place in Kobe city. WBC bantam kingpin Hozumi Hasegawa (26-2, 10 KOs), a formidable Japanese lefty, will engage in his ninth defense against fast-rising prospect Nestor Rocha (21-1, 7 KOs), US, over twelve rounds. Also, unbeaten WBA minimum ruler Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (23-0, 20 KOs), Nicaragua, still 21, will put his belt on the line against ex-WBA/WBC 105-pound champ Katsunari Takayama (23-3, 9 KOs), a fast-moving Japanese footworker, in the first title go there. This show will be presented by Shinsei Promotions. All look interesting enough.
Arena Box-Promotion stars Herbie Hide, Steffen Kretschmann and Mahir Oral have been received very kindly Monday afternoon in Völklingen (Germany) for the first press conference for the big Arena show on June 26th at Hermann-Neuberger-Halle. Even the mayor of Völklingen Klaus Lorig welcomed the fighters and expressed his excitement for the big show to come. It will be the first professional boxing event in the Saarland region (close to the French border) in 30 years. “Dancing Destroyer” Herbie Hide was in great demand after the WBC has officially confirmed him as mandatory challenger for the winner of the WBC cruiserweight championship between Giacobbe Fragomeni and Krysztof Wlodarczyk (May 16th in Milan, Italy). “Originally I was meant to fight Matt Godfrey in a final elimination bout”, states Hide. “But Godfrey pulled out of the fight twice. This boy has been ducking me for more than half a year now. He is afraid of me – and I can’t blame him for that. I would have kicked his ass from Völklingen right back to the hole in the States where he is hiding.” (more…)
Fight Fax is now shipping The 2009 Boxing Record Book, Volume 26 (434 pages). The price is $55 plus shipping and handling. It includes complete records of active boxers, including over 200 female fighters’ records from all over the world; split and majority decisions listed in records; title bout section with complete breakdown round-by-round scoring of every IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC and WBO 2008 title bout, including referees, judges, promoters, etc.; Title bout records of judges and referees; and much more. Call 856-627-1356.
It’s now official. Unbeaten WBO #1 heavyweight Alexander “Sascha” Dimitrenko (29-0, 19 KOs) will face his toughest test on July 4 in the huge Color Line Arena in Hamburg, Germany. Dimitrenko will take on the WBO #5 rated “Fast” Eddie Chambers (34-1, 18 KOs), who is coming off a win over former WBC heavyweight king Sam Peter. “I’m glad that in our jubilee year we can offer this great fight between two world heavyweight championship candidates in Hamburg, our boxing hometown,” said Universum-Promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl. “This is really a duel between two heavyweights of the absolute top class!”
By Rick Scharmberg
Former IBC middleweight champion, Dave “TNT” Tiberi, will become the first professional boxer from Delaware to be inducted into the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame on Sunday, May 17, at Romano’s Caterers in Philadelphia. Former world champions Robert “Bam Bam” Hines and Calvin “Silky” Grove will be inducted with Tiberi, along with legendary cut man Eddie “The Clot” Aliano, Sidney “Sweat Pea” Adams, Henry “Toothpick” Brown, Garnet “Sugar” Hart, Charley Scott, trainer and cut man Jimmy Wilson. “I am honored and humbled,” said Tiberi. “I can remember growing up and going to the gyms in Philadelphia and training along side great fighters like Bennie Briscoe. It was my second home, and was very special.” (more…)
By Miika Forsström
European Union super lightweight champion Giuseppe Lauri (47-6, 28 KOs) defends his title against the hometown hero Juho “TNT” Tolppola (22-5-1, 9 KOs) May 30 in Helsinki, Finland on the undercard of WBA world heavyweight titlefight between Nikolai Valuev and Ruslan Chagaev. Things heated up, when Lauri send Tolppola a public message from his training camp. The challenger did not like the words of Lauri. The Italian champion is confident of victory. “Tolppola is 0-3 against Italian boxers. We are too good for him. After May 30 he will be 0-4 against Italians. My countryman Michele Di Rocco beat Tolppola in 2007 in Finland and later that year I took the title from Di Ricco. I see no reason why I would not be successful in Finland” Lauri comments. (more…)
By Alexey Sukachev
Middleweight contender LaJuan Simon (21-1-2, 12 KOs), coming off a hard-fought spirited loss to the IBF champion Arthur Abraham this March, is ready for more. Simon’s representative Greg Azar of the Rising Star Promotions has his eye on the former world champion Roman Karmazin. (more…)
Tuesday, May 12, has been declared Andre Ward Day in Oakland and the 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist will spend part of it working. Ward and his opponent in Saturday’s huge 12-round super middleweight homecoming fight at the Oracle Arena–Edison Miranda—will both take part in a free open workout Tuesday at the Plaza between the Oracle Arena and Oakland-Alameda Coliseum. Miranda will begin his workout at 4:30 p.m. PT, and Ward will follow at 5:30 p.m. Ward said he can’t wait to wake up and begin his monumental day on Tuesday. “Wow! It’s exciting to get this news especially because this is the week of my fight,” Ward said. “It really gives me strength and comfort that The City of Oakland is behind Andre Ward.” Oakland Mayor Ronald V. Dellums announced the proclamation on Monday. (more…)
Sensational lightweight prospect Bayan “The Mongolian Mongoose” Jargal stayed unbeaten on Saturday night with a devastating first round knockout of Brian Carden in the co-main event of “Triple Threat: Tomorrow’s Champions 11” at the Sportsplex in Winchester, Virginia.
From the opening bell, Jargal took the fight right to the St. Louis native with crunching body shots that slowed the early aggressiveness of Carden. Trapped against the ropes and absorbing a great deal of punishment from Jargal, Carden’s corner called a halt to the barrage with seven seconds remaining in the opening stanza. (more…)
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